Pictorial Mood-Reporting Instrument

Pick-A-Mood (PAM) is a cartoon-based pictorial instrument for reporting and expressing moods. The use of cartoon characters enables people to unambiguously and visually express or report their mood in a rich and easy-to-use way. PAM consists of three characters that each express eight different mood states, representing four main mood categories: energized-pleasant (excited and cheerful), energized-unpleasant (irritated and tense), calm-pleasant (relaxed and calm), and calm-unpleasant (bored and sad).

Figure: The characters were designed to accurately and unambiguously depict moods, and which end-users could relate to.

An evaluation study with 191 participants showed that PAM enables people to express moods that are rich in terms of valence and arousal, and people are able to recognize the moods unambiguously. PAM is particularly suitable for design research applications, which often include situations in which people have little time or motivation to report their moods. PAM can be used both as a tool for measurement (i.e. to enable researchers to measure the moods of their respondents) and as a tool for communication (i.e. to enable people to communicate their mood in social interactions).


Creative Commons License
Pick-A-Mood is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. In this way, the instrument is available for collecting rich data, sampling experiences, creating remote awareness, and enabling self-expression in a wide range of design-related applications. Please contact us by email to obtain the mood-measurement characters.


Desmet PMA, Vastenburg MH, Van Bel D, Romero, NA (2012). Pick-A-Mood; development and application of a pictorial mood-reporting instrument. In: J. Brassett, P. Hekkert, G. Ludden, M. Malpass, & J. McDonnell (Eds.), Proceedings of the 8th International Design and Emotion Conference, Central Saint Martin College of Art & Design, London (UK), 11-14 September 2012. (download final author version)

Vastenburg MH, Romero NA, van Bel DT, Desmet PMA (2011) PMRI: development of a pictorial mood reporting instrument. In: Proceedings of CHI 2011, Vancouver, BC, Canada. (download)